This week's article for The Scrying Pool is all about optional Daily Achievements.
Some of these improvements to achievements we have already received in the January content patch: different sets of dailies for each day of the week and the Laurel currency rewarded for completing daily and monthly achievements. The last addition to achievements mentioned in the post was the ability to complete a subset of daily achievements in order to fill the daily bar.
This subset system Colin described in the blog post as a system where players might be given a list of six achievements each day but only need to complete four to finish the daily bar. That leaves two achievements that would be completely optional (or completely avoidable) for players that don’t want to do them. So what does this mean for the game?
Having optional achievements allows ArenaNet to throw in some truly crazy, or just different, achievements into the mix. I imagine that what we will see is four achievements that are what we have already: events, gathering, kills, kill variety, etc. The last two would then include some of the new dailies we received in the January patch (dodger and healer) as well as some new dailies that ArenaNet wouldn’t want to force players to do on any given day, because of play style/choice or possible time constraints.
Some examples of this could be completing fractals and dungeon paths. Not everyone likes to run fractals and dungeons or has the time to not only run them but find a group for a specific dungeon path. But you also have people who love running dungeons and fractals. With optional dailies, players could complete their daily by running dungeons instead of running around just to find event to complete. This expands on that play the way you want to play. Dungeon runners can complete it doing that while open world PvE-ers could still do the events and not be forced into dungeons.
One thing that we could see is not just a generic “complete a dungeon path” daily, but something a little more specific. For example, maybe you log in and the daily is “complete an Arah dungeon path”. Players would still be able to choose which dungeon path between the story and explorable path, but it gives more focus.
In the original Guild Wars they did something similar called Zaishen missions. Each day a new mission was selected for players to complete to finish this quest and gain the daily rewards. While I don’t think it will get to specific paths, this system would definitely boost activity for a specific dungeon. It would be cool to see many players outside Arah forming groups. Plus this would be a boon for players trying to form groups to collect that dungeon’s tokens.
Back to more generic dailies, along with finishing a fractal (probably just one not a set of three) there could be finishing a jumping puzzle, a heart or a personal story mission. The jumping puzzle would need to stay generic as everyone showing up at the same jumping puzzle would cause everyone to rage about people getting in their way much like we saw with the Clocktower at Halloween. Heart and personal story would also need to stay generic because of the sheer volume of hearts available and also because players can’t go back and repeat completion of already finished hearts and personal story missions.